West London Sport

Wise adds to criticism of Conte’s tactics

Dennis Wise remains a hero among Chelsea fans

Dennis Wise has added to criticism of Antonio Conte’s defensive tactics during Chelsea’s 1-0 defeat at Manchester City.

Chelsea were outclassed by the runaway leaders at the Etihad Stadium, where Conte deployed Eden Hazard as a centre-forward and got men behind the ball without seriously testing the home side.

Speaking on Sky Sports News, Chelsea legend Wise insisted it was completely the wrong approach.

“I think everyone’s disappointed in the way they’ve set themselves out,” said Wise.

“I find it very difficult to understand, especially when you’ve got players like Willian, Hazard and Pedro who want to attack.

“You’re asking them to do a job they’re not comfortable with. And Fabregas is another one who likes to get on the ball.

“They’re not comfortable being defensive players. They’re more offensive players. Trying to get them to do certain jobs, it has a negative impact on the team when you set your stall out in that manner.

“You got to the stage where they were just camped in their (City’s) half and are standing there not moving.

“You can’t play like this. It’s a very difficult way to play against Man City – you just can’t play against them like this.

“You expected them (Chelsea) to at least have a go. I wouldn’t have played that way against Man City. Playing like that is not good.”

Conte has also faced criticism for taking so long to make substitutions.

He waited until 11 minutes from the end to make his first change, bringing on Olivier Giroud for Willian, while Alvaro Morata did not come on for the ineffective Hazard until the 89th minute.

Wise said: “It was terrible and you need to change it. They’ve got enough quality attacking-wise.

“When you know it’s not working you kind of expect a change after about 50 minutes to change the way your team are playing. That was the disappointing thing as well.

“You’ve got two strikers ready to come on and you put one on after 80 minutes and the next one close to 90 minutes. You can’t do that.

“I think it was wrong, the way they set their stall out and the way they played. You might as well go down and go down having a go.

“That was the disappointing thing about it; they never really had a go.”